Blue Ribbon Spirit Awards to recognise fair play by juniors

THE Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation is again combining with the Ballarat Football and Netball League to recognise fair play at junior level.

A Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Spirit Award will each BFNL round be presented to an under-16.5 footballer, 17/under netballer, and youth girls footballer. 

This is the first season youth girls footballers have been part of the program.

Each player will receive a medallion and certificate.

The award recognises players who display fairness and spirit of the game in a nominated match. The BNFL’s Shaun Kelly said the initiative promoted standards on the field and court by encouraging and rewarding fair play, sportsmanship and mutual respect among teammates, opponents and umpires. 

He said the program also aimed to improve the friendly relationship between youngsters and the police. 

Each week, players are rated out of 10 by the umpires, based on fairness and sportsmanship.

Spirit of sport players of the year will be presented at the Robert Allan Medal presentation night on August 20.

East Ballarat’s Sean Bourke and Lake Wendouree netballer Celie Hay are the first winners of the award. Bourke was part of an East Point win over Ballarat in the opening round, while Hay help the Lakers to a win over North Ballarat.

The youth girls football season begins on May 4.